Enhancing the performance of infrastructure programmes in Africa

Natasia McMahon




Performance outlook

With a rapidly growing population, vast oil and mineral reserves, and huge diversity between countries, Africa has enormous economic potential. Despite an influx of Chinese and other international investment, the infrastructure required to fully unlock this opportunity remains lacking across much of the continent.


  • 91% percent of respondents agreed that planning and delivery is struggling to keep up with the pace of societal change
  • 65% cite failure to plan as a key barrier to success

Challenges and opportunities

Conflicting priorities – The research reveals a disparity in the factors driving behaviour in the market, with 79 percent feeling under pressure to reduce capital expenditure and increase profits, while fewer felt driven to meet growing market demand. The market place’s sustainability could be questioned.

Failure to plan – Both at strategic government level and individual project level, there remains a failure to plan in response to demand. The downturn in the natural resources market continues to cast a long shadow and this too may have inhibited long-term planning.

Shifting to a programme approach – Market immaturity means that major infrastructure is typically delivered on a stop-start, project-by-project basis, focused on capital budget and schedule outputs, rather than the overall objectives of a wider programme. There is a need to increase programme management capability so we can fulfil the fundamental aims of infrastructure investment.

In a nutshell

A focus on outcomes and a programmatic approach will help the market realise the need and benefits of infrastructure investment including Africa’s economic and social potential.

This page is part of 'Enhancing the performance of infrastructure programmes'

Go back to the main page

For further information, contact:

Natasia McMahon

t: +27 (0)11 2141400